“Oh what a night,” goes the Four Seasons tune, “late December back in ’63….”

Well about that same time Tennessee-based Hardwick was selling its natural-shouldered clothing to the masses in a series of chivalrous print ads.

Still extant, Hardwick was recently revealed as the manufacturer of the new Crittenden Ivy-styled sportcoats, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the company’s advertising imagery from the Ivy heyday.

According to this one, your “natural shouldered presence” will earn approval from a “damsel”:

Hardwick was in the clothing business, but they were savvy enough to know the customer-retention benefits of autographed snapshots of its models, as seen in this ad:

The combination of chivalry and sex is completely illustrative of the moral should-we-or-shouldn’t-we tug-of-war of the 1960s:

But maybe earth girls aren’t so easy after all. Looks like they hired Ed Wood to design this one:

When Hardwick wasn’t playing up the courtly angle, it kept the babes but dropped the chivalry:

Even with sporting-themed ads, there had to be at least one female:

I think we’ve hit upon one of the main differences between legit Ivy and natural-shouldered garb for the masses: Can you imagine a busty babe in a J. Press catalog?

Still, it’s interesting how many of the ads extoll actual facts (natural shoulders, lapped seams, canvas construction) rather than the brand mythologies used in print advertising today (though that is changing as a result of our digital age’s more informed consumer).

And finally, a nude under a gent’s blazer: You can’t go much further than that. At least not back then. — CC